Animal Services Events

Rochester Animal Services is involved in a variety of outreach and educational programs. As our mission states, we are committed to making the Rochester community safe for its human and non-human residents. Although enforcement is a component of our operations, education and training are also essential. That means providing educational programs for the community and pursuing on-going training for our animal care and control personnel. 

Upcoming Offsite Adoption Events

Come see our cats and dogs outside of the shelter environment and a time/location that may be more convenient for you. Adoption fees apply unless noted otherwise. In some cases, you will be able to bring home your new friend home directly from the event. See events below for more details. Please remember to bring a pet carrier, or leash and collar so you can transport your pet home safely.


Upcoming Adoption Specials  

These one-day events apply to all cats and dogs that are available for adoption on the event date and are made possible by support from Petco Love. Adopters can have their names added to wait lists for stray animals with holding periods that expire after the event date but such animals will not be included in the fee-waiver. For more information, visit Pet Adoption Program.

Please remember to bring a pet carrier to ensure that cats can leave on the scheduled release date and make it to their new homes safely.

The Fast & The Furriest® 5K, 10K, Dog Walk, & Pet Fest

Join us on the first Saturday of June for our major annual fundraiser to benefit Animal Services. The event includes 10K and 5K races, a dog walk, free vaccination-microchip clinic, pet contests, live music, food vendors, exhibitors, local rescue organization, and discounted adoptions. 

This annual charity fundraiser is organized by the City of Rochester Animal Services and the Verona Street Animal Society (VSAS), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization established to help support the mission and programs of Animal Services through fundraising and promotion. The event raises awareness about the City's animal shelter and its programs and helps boost adoptions and volunteer recruitment.  Additionally, the funds raised help support critical programs including spay/neuter, pet adoption, foster care, shelter enrichment and canine play yard, community outreach, and improved animal care at the shelter. 

If you are interested in getting involved with the event, contact us at  


Free Canine Vaccine Clinics

Rochester Animal Services periodically holds free canine DAAP (Distemper/Parvovirus) vaccine clinics (does not include rabies vaccine). Please see upcoming dates/times below. The vaccine clinics are held in parking lot C (by the blue storage bins) of the Rochester Community Sports Complex. Enter the parking lot at 448 Smith Street.   

 The vaccine clinic is available to City of Rochester Resident dogs only. Dogs must be on a leash and only one dog per person. The line for vaccines will be closed 1/2 hour before ending. Dog DAAP (Distemper/Parvovirus) vaccinations only. NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED. 

Upcoming vaccine dates/times:

  • April 5, 2024, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
  • April 19, 2024, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

We would like to thank Petco Love for donating the vaccines for our clinic and helping us support the well-being and safety of our pets!

Any questions please contact Rochester Animal Services by calling 585 -428-7008 or by email.

June is Adopt-A-Cat Month 

Spring and summer are always the most challenging months for shelters nationwide as cat intakes skyrocket without a corresponding increase in adoptions. Shelters become overwhelmed with unwanted litters and roaming strays. In June we reduce or waive adoption fees in recognition of Adopt-A-Cat Month. However, the numbers of cats at the shelter continued to remain high into the fall.  

Animal Services brings in over 1,600 cats every year.  Around 800 get adopted and fewer than 50 are reclaimed by owners. Our rescue partners accept transfer of hundreds more cats each year but the shelter intakes exceed their capacities. The fee incentives are meant to stimulate interest in adopting from shelters and helping save lives.    

“It’s a constant challenge trying to keep pace with the continual influx of cats,” says Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Animal Services. “We need to find additional ways to promote adoptions and increase the number of shelters, rescue groups and foster homes with which we collaborate so that we can provide more outlets for the high numbers of cats entering the shelter.”  When shelters become crowded, the levels of stress and disease increase. Many cats come down with upper respiratory infections. These illnesses are common in shelter environments and are essentially the feline version of the common cold. Periodically offering these waived fees stimulates adoptions of cats and helps increase lifesaving.

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month 

 In celebration of American Humane Association’s national Adopt‐A‐Dog Month this October, Rochester Animal Services is asking prospective pet owners the question: What can an adopted dog bring to your life? 

 “There are as many responses to that question as there are dogs in this world,” said Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Animal Services.  “Whether you want an exercise buddy, a best friend for your child, a partner in agility competitions, a constant companion for an aging parent or simply a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work, an adopted dog can be all of these — and more. Adopt‐A‐Dog Month is the perfect time for people to adopt a shelter dog and experience the joy of finding their own answers.”

If you’re thinking about bringing an adopted dog into your family, here are some things to consider:

  • Like children, dogs are completely dependent on their owners for all their needs — food, water, medical attention, exercise, shelter and, most important, companionship. But unlike children, dogs will never learn to pour themselves a drink, fix breakfast or clean up after themselves. Opening your home to a dog can be highly rewarding, as long as you understand and accept the daily responsibilities and routines that come with owning a dog.
  • The qualities and personality you want in a dog are more important than size and appearance. For example, an older shepherd mix might do better than an energetic terrier in an apartment. Very often the pet that has the characteristics you’re looking for will come in an unexpected package.

Rochester Animal Services has dogs of every type, size, age and personality waiting for loving homes. The shelter is located near downtown Rochester at 184 Verona Street just north of Kodak and Frontier Field.  Parking is free and can be accessed from Verona Street or from North Plymouth Avenue.  For more information contact the shelter at 428-7274 or visit us online at

Dog Bite Prevention Program

Provided upon request. Learn the do's and don'ts around dogs. We can cater these programs to school groups, utilities workers, visiting nurses, social workers, parole and probation officers, postal carriers, and others as appropriate. Please call our office at (585) 428-7274 or email us to schedule a program at the animal shelter or at your school, workplace, or neighborhood association.

Weekend adoptions at Pet Stores

We bring adoptable animals to the following pet stores on a semi-regular basis:

  • Pet Supplies Plus - Webster

Visit VSAS - Events or contact each store directly to find out the schedule for upcoming adoption events at these locations.



Pets and Animals